Celtic Excursions https://celticexcursions.com For The Perfect Adventure Thu, 09 Dec 2021 11:59:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.9 Imbloc – St Brigid’s Day https://celticexcursions.com/st-brigits-day-blog/ https://celticexcursions.com/st-brigits-day-blog/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2021 15:07:56 +0000 https://celticexcursions.com/?p=3037 Imbolc also called (Saint) Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. It was traditionally held on 1 February. It lands about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It is one of the four Gaelic […]

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Imbolc also called (Saint) Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. It was traditionally held on 1 February. It lands about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals—along with Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain. For Christians, especially in Ireland, it is the feast day of Saint Brigid.

Imbolc is mentioned in early Irish literature, and there is evidence suggesting it was also an important date in ancient times. It is believed that Imbolc was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid, and that it was Christianised as a festival of Saint Brigid, who is thought to be a Christianisation of the goddess. On Imbolc/St Brigid’s Day, Brigid’s crosses were made and a doll-like figure of Brigid (a Brídeóg) would be paraded from house-to-house by girls, sometimes accompanied by ‘strawboys’. Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. To receive her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, and items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless. Brigid was also evoked to protect homes and livestock. Special feasts were had, holy wells were visited, and it was a time for divination.

Video from the National Museum of Ireland – https://www.museum.ie/en-ie/home

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Finn McCool & The Cloughmore Stone https://celticexcursions.com/finn-mccool-the-cloughmore-stone/ https://celticexcursions.com/finn-mccool-the-cloughmore-stone/#respond Fri, 01 May 2020 15:37:00 +0000 https://celticexcursions.com/?p=3014 Most have heard about Finn McCool and the Giants Causeway but the lesser known story is that of Finn McCool and the Cloughmore Stone on the shore of Carlingford Lough! There are many different versions of this story but below is my favourite version.

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Most have heard about Finn McCool and the Giants Causeway but the lesser known story is that of Finn McCool and the Cloughmore Stone on the shore of Carlingford Lough! There are many different versions of this story but below is my favourite version.

The story begins with Finn McCool pursuing a wild boar across Slieve Foy mountain in Carlingford and slew it. He cooked it on top of the smouldering Volcano that had long since erupted but which still emitted enough heat to cook the unfortunate but delicious hog. He lay down to sleep and woke as the dawn sun began to rise in the Mourne’s, and as he cast his eyes on Carlingford Lough below, a great shadow stretched over the Lough and momentarily blocked out the sun. To his surprise he saw another giant as big as himself, a white shield slung over his shoulder, armed with a mighty sword in one hand and a club in the other.

“Who are you?” shouted Finn his voice reverberating around the mountains. “I am the cock of the North,” shouted the other giant and he began to crow and flap his elbows like they were wings.”If I go across that Lough, said Finn, I’ll put the crowing off you mighty quick.”

“Cool down Finn McCool,” said the other giant. “If you want to know my name, it’s Ruscaire, I am the Giant of Snow and Ice, the enemy of the whole human race, and if it’s fighting you want I’m your man.”

You dare to challenge me said Finn, I, the Giant of Summer. You may think you have conquered me, you may even hold me prisoner, but in the end I will break out and the whole of nature will rejoice.

There was no escape from battle now, both giants drew their swords, each with one foot in Carlingford Lough, and the other astride the mountains. They fought day and night with swords and on the second day with clubs. On the third morning Ruscaire awoke early from the nights slumber, and while Finn still slept he crossed the Lough and stole the sword of Finn. He could have slain him as he slept but he had some honour.

When Finn awoke and found that his sword was gone and that Ruscaire had taken it, he fell into a great rage, picked up stones and fired them at him across the water. A great battle of stone and rock firing began, thumping down and rocking the very foundations of the mountains. Close to where Finn stood lay the Cloughmore stone, it weighed nearly 50 tons. With a great effort, Finn, summonsing all his strength, gathered his great arms around it and hurled it at Ruscaire. It landed on the unfortunates head. It crushed his great body back into the mountain where it melted away like ice beneath the stone.

Finn overtaxed himself with the mighty effort, he was exhausted and lay down on top of the smouldering volcano to sleep. His head lay at the mountain top and his feet rested in the Lough. Such was his tiredness that he never awakened and as the years passed by, his great body turned to rock, and the outline of his body can be seen to this day!

The author of this version of the story has been lost to me – so apologies for lack of credit. Photo Credit – Tourism Ireland

Find out more on visiting Carlingford Lough by contacting us:

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An Introduction https://celticexcursions.com/an-introduction/ https://celticexcursions.com/an-introduction/#respond Fri, 03 Apr 2020 14:22:00 +0000 http://celticexcursions.com/?p=1 Welcome everyone to Celtic Excursions Tours, we are a family organisation very much focused on benifiting the communities in which we tour. Our aim is to explore the well travelled path but as small groups travel to some of the less known hidden gems across our Islands. I myself spend my childhood wandering the Wicklow […]

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Welcome everyone to Celtic Excursions Tours, we are a family organisation very much focused on benifiting the communities in which we tour. Our aim is to explore the well travelled path but as small groups travel to some of the less known hidden gems across our Islands.

I myself spend my childhood wandering the Wicklow Mountains from our family home near the monastic settlement of St. Kevin in Glendalough and listening to stories of those who travelled there from far and wide and telling them stories of the area developed my love and knowledge of travel and guiding.

From Wicklow I travelled to Limerick City along the Shannon on Irelands West Coast, then onto my studies in tourism in Galway City before departing Ireland to travel in The USA, New Zealand and Australia before meeting Gráinne in Birmingham England and us setting up home in Castlewellan, Co. Down, Northern Ireland – the place that I now call home….

The purpose of our blog is to let you know about our tours, introduce some of the people you will meet as you travel, highlight some of the lesser known places we will visit and sometimes just to tell a story and have some craic! If ever you have someting you would like to add we welcome the feedback or if there is a topic you would like us to discuss drop us an email to info@celticexcursions.com

Hopefully you will enjoy some of the post coming over the coming months,

Kind Regards

Philip

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